Stocks
FIIs shun Standard Chartered IDR issue

The retail investor category was subscribed 0.01 times while the FII category received zero bids

Standard Chartered Plc’s Indian depository receipts (IDR) issue, which hit the market today, has received a lacklustre response from foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and retail investors.

Retail investors bid for 7.22 lakh shares out of the total quota of 7.20 crore shares. The retail category was subscribed 0.01 times. Retail investors have been given a 5% discount in this issue. The Foreign Institutional Investor (FII) category received zero bids.

The Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) category was subscribed 0.12 times from 8.40 crore shares reserved under the category. Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs) bid for 86.95 lakh shares while mutual funds (MFs) bid for 17.10 lakh shares.

Similarly, the Non-Institutional Investor (NII) quota saw a lukewarm response. It was subscribed 0.0009 times, and received bids for just 40,800 shares from individuals. Even corporates have shied away from investing on the first day, which saw zero bids.

Employees subscribed for just 1,600 shares from the reserved quota of 48 lakh shares. The company has 20.40 crore shares on offer, including 3.60 crore shares for anchor investors at a price of Rs104 per share. The company has 16 anchor investors on board. Overall, the issue was subscribed 0.05 times on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

The company is planning to raise Rs2,400 crore-Rs2,760 crore through the IDR issue with a price band of Rs100-Rs115. The issue opened today and closes on 28 May 2010.

User

Haier’s lack of after-sales support stymies customers

The global conglomerate is selling a number of its consumer electronic and home appliance products in India. However, getting through to the company for any kind of customer service can be a daunting task

Chinese manufacturers have swamped the globe with their low-priced products. Walk down an aisle of a supermarket or mall selling electronic items in any developed country and the chances are that you will find the shelves stacked with Chinese goods.

Haier India is a Chinese company which made a mark in the Indian market because of its wide range in low-cost home appliance and consumer electronics products. A price-line below what the overall market has to offer has always been the company’s strategy to increase its customer base. Its product offering includes refrigerators, air-conditioners, washing machines, LED & LCD televisions and water-heaters. But the quality of the company’s after-sales service is a different story.

The most important part that any manufacturer has to take care of is the after-sales service. Haier might be a conglomerate with operations in many parts of the globe, but there are a number of complaints against this multinational on the deafening silence that its customer-service department seems to stoically maintain, despite numerous complaints.

Haier India is a subsidiary of the Haier Group, which started its commercial operations in Delhi in January 2004. Haier has an established dealer network of around 1,600 outlets across the country, with what it proclaims to be a “strong service and after-sales service network.” Haier products are also available at all major retail outlets in cities across the country. The company has almost 18 branch offices & 25 warehouses; six direct service centres & 135 Haier ‘customer-care’ centres with a 24-hour call centre service.

Apparently, according to a former Haier employee (who preferred anonymity), the company does not have enough service centres around the country. Furthermore, the existing service centres are not stocked with enough spare parts—and service technicians usually have to wait for days before they attend to a particular customer complaint.

The customer care number on the Haier India site is barely decipherable.

Here are just a few of the complaints against Haier:

Vaidya DV from Pune-based Ablesoft Computers had bought a fridge from Haier through its retailer Gokul Electronics on 1 September 2006. Mr Vaidya told Moneylife that the refrigerator was not operational when it was installed—it was taken away by Haier for repairs, but it continued to remain non-operational. Mr Vaidya then filed an appeal against the company, but Haier chose not to appear in court for four successive hearings. The customer was forced to run from pillar to post but is still awaiting justice. 

Yogesh Sapkale, deputy editor of Moneylife had a similar experience with a Haier phone handset. “I bought the handset and as soon as I inserted a SIM card, the phone went on the blink. I have been trying to reach the Haier customer care department since last year. First I had gone to the Ghatkopar (a Mumbai suburb) service centre after speaking with the chief technician. I had to skip office twice to give the handset for repairs as Haier refused to receive calls. The handset is still lying at the Kalyan service centre. They have changed the service centre and have not bothered to even inform me about the same,” said Mr Sapkale.

Achintya Mukherjee, a consumer activist has also had a similar experience. “We had bought a Haier fridge about three years ago. We wrote to the company as the piece was defective and since they were going to replace it anyway, we asked for a bigger one. At the same time, we were constantly in touch with their main office in Faridabad. It took them nearly three to four months to replace the fridge and we had immediately deposited the cheque as payment for the replacement as well. It took them three months even to credit the amount to their account. Maybe they are not equipped to handle so many customers in India. The initial service support of the company doesn’t seem to be in place because it is not a bad product per se but a bad piece. The fridge is working fine till date.”

When Moneylife tried to contact Haier’s customer-care department, through their customer care number, it was constantly busy.

We finally got through to a Haier India spokesperson (VV Rao), but he preferred not to comment on any of the above cases.

Is this how Haier plans to service its existing customers and increase its market share in India?
 

User

COMMENTS

Niti

6 years ago

I totally agree...


I have Annual maintenance contract with Haier for window AC. I just called Haier customer service for the 4th time to inquire about whatever happened to my service request and the guy who answered "Nagendra" didn't even speak proper english and even disconnected the call when I was trying to understand what he was saying. When I called them again and asked him to connect me to his senior, the ring went on, nobody responded and it eventually got disconnected.

This is one of the worst customer service experience that I have got. Instead of trying to help resolve the issue, the customer care creates new ones. And to top it, my service request is still unresolved.

REPLY

Vaidya

In Reply to Niti 6 years ago

I am filing a case in consumer courts for Haier's for failure to repair my very very costly AC over a period of 8 months. I will be glad if Niti can send some information about the problem he has faced. I am glad to share my with any one. It will be support each others arguments in consumer courts. For this issue, I can be contacted at [email protected].

Vaidya

7 years ago

I have washing machine which is working fine. When it comes to repairs you know what is Haier. We were quoted Rs.4000/- with six months warranty for gearbox, after paying a service charge of around Rs.300/- We thought of second opinion. We called our old contact who repairs washing machines. He did the work in Rs.1000/- with one year warranty and free comments " Uncle I do not touch any product from Haier. This is did it because of our old contacts ". Does it not speak a lot. And should you feel the charges are too much, do not hesitate to take second opinion. And if possible, start with the second opinion.

Vaidya

7 years ago

Mr. Manish seems to believe that he is the sole authority to decide everything. And if he finds things going well, everything must be well. The test of a company can be decided only when the problem occurs, not when things do well. Firstly they have a single number to call, probably for all over India. You are lucky if you get it. Then they have unprofessional or untrained people to attend the calls, who may not even have a fixed premises. The person who attends may simply return saying he does not know the product or he is not equipped to repair the product, or it needs some spare parts, which will have to be called from some where and is unable to commit the time that is required. Going by their reputation, I have purchased products worth 1.50 lacs. Hence forth I will never purchase anything from Haier, nor will I use it, even if it is given free, nor will I recommend it to any one. Good luck for Manish.

Ravi

7 years ago

After reading the article I feel that the writer is not aware about quite a few things, he is writing because his boss had a problem.

I have a Haier washing machine and there has been no problems.

REPLY

yogesh

In Reply to Ravi 7 years ago

Ravi, the same is true for you as well. All the employees, who are afraid of revealing their identity, please use all your energy to imporve your after sales service.

Vaidya

7 years ago

I suggest Mr. Yogesh to go to consumer court.

ram

7 years ago

Hey ! this is sheer rubbish that the guy is writing. have a haier LCD and am perfectly satisfied.. Yes, their customer service is a bit weak but otherwise the products are world class.

REPLY

yogesh

In Reply to ram 7 years ago

Ram, it does not suit your name to speak a lie. You are also employee of Haier India and your company uses broadband services from Bharti.

Manish

7 years ago

And by the way I dont say number one brand because I feel like or Haier claims but because it has been verified...see Euromonitor International Survey 2008/2009... Haier has been on top twice in a row... also for ther awards i mentioned refer to the websites or google buddy...it's so easy to know whether what your are talking is true...

REPLY

yogesh

In Reply to Manish 7 years ago

BTW...We can confirm that you are an employee of Haier and using your company network for posing comments. We hope you take care of after sales and services with the same speed as your comments!

Manish

7 years ago

Well... i guess the editors have to get certain facts right before publishing any crap about any company... incidentally Haier happens to be the Number Home Appliance Brand Globallly (No. 1 in Refrigerator & Washing Machine) leaving behind LG , Samsung, Whirlpool... the products have won Red Dot Design Awards, IF Awards and leading B-School have used Haier as cases studies...The fact that one of the deputy-editors of Moneylife had a bad experienc regarding his phone (obviously all editors are big shots) he chose to write unverifid facts because of his pesonal biases. Has he compared the pricing of Haier with LG/Samsung/Whirpool to be so sure that they are below any other competitors...also Haier does not have 18 but 20 branches...and counting ! The products are technically excellent...I use a Haier LCD (more than 2 years), Water Heater & 2 ACs and they are perfectly fine...
I have an advice for Ashpreet Sethi the columnist ... check your facts before publishing, just becase your editor had a problem or you manged to get hold of one disgruntled employee you write something to please him...cheap ! There may be problems related to service ... but writing unverified facts about a company or anyone reks of unprofessionalism... Get your basics right buddy !!

REPLY

yogesh

In Reply to Manish 7 years ago

Dear Manish,
Thanks for doing a job of PR person for the company. We confirm that all facts mentioned in the about story are checked twice. Just because you are fond of Haier products does not make it number one company in India in terms of after sales and services. And with regards to my experience with Haier, it just came while discussing the original story idea in edit meeting. Sure the story appearing in one of the most reputed site may have dented the image of your company (and in turn affected your position), but what we had done is just placed plain facts for everyone to see.

saumya

7 years ago

I have a Haier refrigerator almost 3 years back and honestly if ever i have had any problem i have never faced any problem in getting the technical fault rectified in the stipulated time frame..

Shubhangi

7 years ago

I don't agree completely, I have been using the washing machine for a while and the service and after sales support is good. this problem is face on almost all brands be it a LG, Samsung, Videocon or a whirlpool face form time to time on any particular product or in a particular area. Why single out a brand ??

Param Iyer

7 years ago

The same issue is with Koryo (I think is it from Taiwan) that is sold almost exclusively in Big Bazar). There is no Koryo website for India & no Koryo service center in any city. You cannot take the product to Big Bazar as they do not provide service. They merely provide the number of some service company that seems to be affiliated with Koryo. The workmanship & service quality is very much shop & mechanic dependent. Beware!!!

HUL spends Rs656 crore on ads to earn a net profit of Rs581 crore!

In the fourth quarter, HUL spent Rs656 crore on advertising and promotions. However, its net profit (excluding a one-time gain) increased by just Rs46 crore and its sales went up only by 8%, compared to the year-ago period

Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), the unit of Anglo-Dutch Unilever PLC, spent Rs656 crore on advertising and promotions, however its fourth quarter net profit increased just by Rs46 crore, excluding a one-time gain. Even after including the one-time gain of Rs143 crore, HUL’s net profit of Rs581 crore is much less than its ad-spend. In short, after spending Rs656 crore on ads, the company could manage to earn a ‘pure’ net profit of just Rs438 crore compared with Rs395 crore, reported during the same quarter last year.

For the quarter to end-March, the company said its net profit rose 47% on a one-time gain while net sales increased 8%. However, on a consolidated basis, HUL's net profit fell 14% as sales declined 13% to Rs17,764 crore.

During the quarter, the company reported a net profit of Rs581 crore compared with Rs395 crore, in the same period last year, due to a one-time gain of Rs143 crore related to sale of property, long-term trade investments and lower provisions for retirement benefits.

“In an environment of heightened competitive intensity we have accelerated volume growth, ahead of the market. Broad-based actions have been taken to enhance competitiveness of our brands, build new segments, expand offerings in foods and improve the overall quality of our innovations and speed to market. These initiatives have started to yield positive results,” said Harish Manwani, chairman, HUL, in a release.

The company said during the quarter, domestic consumer and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) business grew 8%, driven by strong 11% volume growth. Growth was broad-based across home and personal care (HPC) and foods and in aggregate, ahead of reported market growth. Although the company reported total revenues of Rs4,380 crore compared with Rs4,057 crore for the March quarter, on a consolidated basis, its total revenues fell 14%. On a consolidated basis, HUL's total revenues fell to Rs17,764 crore from Rs20,891 crore, a year ago.

During the quarter, HUL’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) margins declined 147 basis points on the account of 39%, 28.3% and 10.5% increase in ad-spend, purchase of finished goods and raw material consumption, respectively.

Despite spending Rs656 crore in the March quarter on advertising and promotions compared with Rs450 crore in the same quarter last year, HUL's net sales increased by just 8%, supported by personal care products, beverages and exports. Its soaps and detergents segment declined 2% to Rs1,978 crore from Rs2,016 crore from the year-ago period.

In the fourth quarter, HUL spent Rs206 crore more on advertising and promotions; however, its ‘pure’ net profit (excluding the one-time gain) increased by just Rs46 crore.

For the year to end-March, the company declared a final dividend of Rs3.5 per share, taking its total dividend to Rs6.5 per share, compared with Rs6 per share last year.

HUL shares ended Tuesday 0.6% down at Rs230 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex closed 2.7% down at 16,022 points.

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